Menendez Rival Polling Strong Against Incumbent

On Tuesday, Democratic New Jersey Representative Andy Kim announced the results of an internal survey showing that he is well ahead of his opponents in the state’s Senate primary, including New Jersey First Lady Tammy Murphy and Democratic Senator Bob Menendez.

First published by The New Jersey Globe, the survey shows that among potential primary voters, the South Jersey congressman has a 45 percent to 22 percent edge over Murphy. The polling machine gave Menendez a meager 3% of the vote.

Kim initiated an unexpected Senate campaign against Menendez the day after he was charged with corruption allegations in September, and he was the first Democrat from New Jersey to demand his resignation.

Just last month, Murphy—the wife of Democratic Governor Phil Murphy—launched her campaign for the Senate, garnering the endorsements of influential establishment leaders.

The Democratic Party of New Jersey is firmly behind both candidates, with net favorability scores in the double digits. With around half of the electorate unfamiliar with either candidate enough to make a decision, Kim has a +35 net rating according to his campaign’s survey, while Murphy has a +17.

The survey shows that Kim has a commanding advantage against Murphy in several demographic groups. For example, he leads moderates by 19 points and progressives by 42 points. Among female responders, he likewise holds a commanding 17-point edge.

Last month, a survey conducted by Kim’s campaign showed that he had 40% support, while Murphy had 21% and Menendez had 5%.

Since Menendez and his wife were convicted on suspicions of accepting bribes, his job approval has taken a nosedive. According to the prosecution, the pair allegedly took gifts and monies totaling hundreds of thousands of dollars from Egyptian interests in return for favorable political treatment.

Menendez has been steadfast in his refusal to resign despite the demands of dozens of Democrats nationwide. He maintains his innocence.

During his three stints in Congress, Kim has spearheaded efforts to increase veterans’ access to healthcare, aid Sandy victims’ homes, and root out corruption in Washington by removing the corrupting effect of money from politics.

On June 4th, New Jersey will have its Democratic primary.